Abstract Puerarin is an isoflavone extracted from Chinese plant, Pueraria lobata (Wild.) Ohwi. It has been reported to have comprehensive pharmacological action in treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to link the scattered effects of puerarin and to find the common mechanisms underlying. We investigated the effect of puerarin on the pivotal common pathogenic factors of metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Recently, a large body of evidence indicates that there is a complicated interplay among insulin resistance, adipocytes and endothelial dysfunction that links the abnormalities of metabolic syndrome. Results of present study showed that puerarin could potentiate insulin-induced preadipocyte differentiation, promote glucose-uptake of adipocytes that have been induced insulin resistance by high glucose, and prevent TNF-a-induced apoptosis and viability loss of endothelial cells. Furthermore, we found that these effects are probably due to promote PPARγ expression and partly through inhibiting abnormal TNF-a-induced intracellular-free Ca 2+ accumulation of endothelial cells. Overall, our synthetical study links the comprehensive pharmacological actions of puerarin to the recognized common pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, and provides a new insight into the mechanism of puerarin effect.